Greenbuddies NewsUpdates from the world of renewable energy

Greenbuddies tips – February 2021 19.02.2021

Source: Rivian.com

Rivian – a new threat to Tesla?

Only few today doubt that Tesla is one of the most progressive and innovative car manufacturers that has emerged in the last few decades. Over the past couple of years it has built a strong position among manufacturers of luxury electric cars, which, with all due respect, none of the existing premium cars in the world have actually been able to threaten. However, this can change relatively quickly. Why and how? There are several reasons.

Rumours about robust plans to build electric vehicles of Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies, and GM’s announcements suggest that the new era of battery-powered cars and trucks is gaining momentum. Today, however, we will focus on another potential competitor of Tesla. It is an extremely ambitious project, associated with Jeff Bezos, or better said with his logistics giant Amazon, as the main shareholder, and the engineer R. J. Scaringe as its CEO. The original idea was conceived sometimes before 2009 and soon thereafter was turned into a real-lif project called Rivian. The company has in the meantime grown into an aggressive and financially strong challenger to Tesla who recently announced that it has raised an additional $ 2.65 billion in the latest round of IPO. That increases the company’s total funding to at least $ 8 billion, more than any previous U.S. automotive start-up. Delivery of the first electric models is scheduled to begin in mid-2021 and will be built at a renovated automanufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois. But that’s not all: the American electric car manufacturer wants to build a factory in Europe just like Tesla.
A little context to better illustrate the point: As is well known, Tesla has big plans in Grünheide, Germany. They want to build a huge factory to produce 500,000 cars a year, which will also become the largest battery factory. However, the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin is stalled, according to reports leaking to the public. Insiders even talk about a “huge delay.” Five months before the planned start of production, crucial parts of the building were still missing and the application for a battery production permit had not yet been submitted to the state authority. According to the “Business Insider”, the underground infrastructure for electricity and water supply has not yet been built.
So when could one imagine a better time come for Rivian, as a young ambitious competitor of Tesla, to attack the current leader with his own factory built somewhere in Europe? In addition to the United Kingdom and Hungary, Germany is one of the possible potential venues of interest.
At the factory, Rivian initially intends to produce vans for the logistics giant Amazon and later also passenger cars.
Rivian is considered by experts to be a serious competitor of Tesla. Firstly, the company already has on its books a significant order for 100,000 electrical vans from its shareholder Amazon. And secondly, Rivian already has two finished car models. Production and delivery of the R1T pick-up is to begin in June, followed by the R1S SUV in August – a segment in which Tesla also has ambitious plans.
Thanks to this newly ordered electric vehicle fleet Amazon wants to become more independent of logistics giants such as UPS and DHL, and at the same time come much closer to its goal of delivering half of its shipments by 2030 completely without greenhouse gas emissions. R.J. Scaringe hopes to be able to start production of these small battery-powered trucks as early as 2022.
And so we are in for a very interesting battle among the gigantic manufacturers of electric cars, which will certainly be worth watching very closely!

 

Establishment of the Dutch branch GB Energy BV

Greenbuddies first service deliveries were to Germany; year after that Greenbuddies, s.r.o. had a modest fair stand at Solar Solutions International in Expo Haarlemmermeer near Amsterdam. Since than we are steadily increasing our construction volumes in the Netherlands.

In the course of time we came across with Jos Schlangen, an experienced Solar expert which is in the Dutch Solar industry since the industry itself started. Jos, previously working for at-that-time-solar-giants like Siemens or Shell, became our face to the Dutch & Belgian markets and he quickly gained respect and confidence by our clients. As a next logical step – together with more complex works which we also started to deliver became a decision to setup a local Dutch entity. Since December 2020 there is a joined local company called Greenbuddies Energy BV and we are adding more workforce to cope with the challenges of the fast growing market. Jos is not only leading the office but is also a shareholder to the company.
Apart from agile support of our construction, installation and time-to-time also EPC activities the new office backed with a strong international investor is mandated to create a pipeline of more than 100 MW of own PV projects within next 2-3 years, so we are looking for land and roofs which would be available for solar projects.

We are looking forward that you meet our Dutch team at the Greenbuddies stand of Solar Solutions 2021 in September this year!

 

Why should I invest into a photovoltaic plant?

Everybody is well aware of alarming carbon dioxide levels and other damaging impacts of human activities on Earth and most of the people in western affluant countries are trying to act environmental-friendly, whether it is by riding a bike to work or by waste sorting. But investment in renewable energies has been widely considered as noble but without financial support from the EU and governments unprofitable.

Indeed, a decade ago solar parks wouldn’t stand a chance against conventional generation from the economic perspective, if it wasn’t for heavy subsidies. However, as time went on, the costs of main components (especially modules) have been dropping exponentially. According to the annual report by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) from 2019, the LCOE (levelised costs of electricity) for solar decreased by almost 90 % just within the last decade! Probably the most stunning fact is that solar is becoming the cheapest source of energy, even cheaper than fossil fuels, which can be seen in the figure below.

Source: IRENA; Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019: Latest Trends and DriversAvailable online: https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Webinars/2020/Jun/IRENAinsight-webinar_RPGC-in-2019-Overview.pdf?la=en&hash=80A08A29C8807989DC9DBA8E78E55B6124DC5E42 

The exponential decline hasn’t reached its bottom yet, but the rate is clearly slowing down. Moreover, once the policymakers realize that solar segment is viable in free market conditions, they will cut off the subsidies which are still available. Given all the data we have, it seems that now it’s the best time for investment in PV plant because the price of electricity grows steadily year after year. Hence, ownership of a PV plant ensures stable cash flow for a long time.

Investment in PV combines several benefits. Firstly, it makes your future electricity bills predictable and significantly lower if you fit the consumption to the size of the plant while protecting yourself from the increase of electricity costs. This also makes you less dependent on the grid availability. Secondly, you can use it for marketing purposes since you are powered by green energy. And thirdly and most imporantly, you can make decent money out of it when you simply decide to sell the generated energy to the grid.

Am I the right person?

Basically, you can install PV anywhere; field, meadow, landfill, water reservoir, flat roof, tilted roof and so on. All of these surfaces can be covered with panels. And if you are still hesitating whether western/central Europe is a suitable place for a PV plant then the graph below showing installed solar capacity in the Netherlands is self-explanatory.Source: TU Delft, Dutch Solar EnergyAvailable online: https://www.tudelft.nl/?id=59086&L=1 

 

 

Greenbuddies tips – January 2021 21.01.2021

Plug-in hybrids – support or threat to European climate goals?

In January 2020, in blissful ignorance, we witnessed an unprecedented drop in CO2 emissions from newly sold cars across Europe as well as significant increase in electric car sales. It was not that the drivers suddenly miraculously changed their preferences. The key reason was the legislation, as the long-awaited rules for reducing CO2 emissions for cars in 2020-21 came into force.​​​​​​​

They require car manufacturers to invest in clean technology, mostly in electric cars, and reduce carbon pollution from car sales to an average of 95 g/km. This has triggered massive investments on the part of manufacturers, the range of so-called plug-in models (vehicles with internal combustion engines equipped with an electric motor that charges from a socket) has expanded significantly, and the steep increase in sales followed quickly come as a result of all these changes.

Despite the Covid 19 pandemic, 2020 will go down in history as the year when electromobility in Europe began to gain momentum. There has never been a better time to buy a plug-in car, which for many customers who are afraid to buy purely battery-powered electric vehicles is a sort of optimal compromise between the quest for emission-free individual transport and the desire to sustain sufficient range (and therefore comfort) to which they have been accustomed. However, this state is far from ideal. You ask why? Well, precisely because half of the sales of electric vehicles are plug-in hybrids. We have to realize that these cars are not, in principle, designed to have zero emissions – they are mostly powered by combustion (and therefore pollution-producing) powertrains.

Therefore, experts fear that higher sales of cars with alternative propulsion could, as a result, increase CO2 emissions in operation more than previously expected. For instance, according to a joint study of the German Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Ifeu), the Ökoinstitut and the European Transport Association for Transport and the Environment commissioned by by the Federal Ministry of Environment in Berlin, this is mainly due to the high proportion of plug-in hybrids among the new vehicle registrations.

Plug-in hybrids, as already mentioned, use mainly an internal combustion engine in daily operation – and thus emit significantly more CO2 than stated with reference to the results of test measurements. According to one of the leading researchers at the Ökoinstitut, plug-in hybrids can be expected to produce an additional 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the transport segment in 2030 in addition to the original market forecasts. And all this in a situation where, according to previous estimates, the transport sector would miss the original target of a maximum amount of CO2 for 2030 of 95 million tonnes by around 30 million tonnes.

According to the authors of the study, previous scenarios for the development of CO2 emissions in the transport sector derived the volume of emissions immediately after the official homologation of a given vehicle type. However, especially in the case of heavy hybrid plug-in models, the actual operation exceeds this value several times. In addition, the study states that about a third of newly registered hybrid plug-in vehicles are heavy SUVs or off-road vehicles, which are worse off in terms of environmental pollution than conventional lighter plug-in hybrids. The main reasons for the low portion of electric journeys in the total distance traveled are the lack of economic incentives for electric charging and the underdeveloped charging infrastructure. Another problem is the short range of electricity, especially for heavy vehicles.

The study advocates stricter conditions for the purchase of subsidized insurance premiums and tax benefits for plug-in hybrids. According to the document, discounts for plug-in hybrids should be related to “hard”, i.e. measurable criteria for purely electric driving range, electric performance and the evidence of regular charging. In addition, electric propulsion should be financially attractive to users. At the end of last year, for example, the German independent environmental agency Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) called for an end to government subsidies and tax subsidies for these types of vehicles. The reason was, among other things, a study by Transport & Environment, which found that CO2 emissions from three hybrid models tested in real operation were up to eight times higher than the values stated by the manufacturer.

So again like many times before, does it turn out that a hybrid solution, or compromise in other words, can actually be to the detriment rather than to the advantage?


Market opening in Belgium for Greenbuddies

Although Greenbuddies Energy BV and its head Jos Schlangen is responsible for the entire BeNeLux market until half of this year we haven’t explored the market in Belgium systematically and we did not have there any constructions (with one big exception of the mighty 71 MW Kristalpark).

This has changed as we recognised that several Belgian companies reacted on what we do in Holland. In one of the rare lockdown windows allowing to fly from Prague to Amsterdam and drive to Belgium we have flown in and together with Jos visited some of these interested companies. The interest proved to be genuine and since last quarter we are already building a few roof tops there on an EPC basis.
One of them is a project in Charleroi constructed on the roof of a shopping center. This is a technically difficult work of smaller dimension (250 kWp). For this application, we have chosen the Dutch mounting system Aerocompact, which offers a wide range of specialized products for photovoltaics. To offer higher quality services to our clients, we constantly try to improve our knowledge and skills, and for example our employees have undergone professional certification training with the Aerocompact assembly system in Holland. The construction of a structure of this size and complexity was planned with an obvious time buffer for 3 weeks, but as you all know the construction in photovoltaics is one of the fields that are strongly dependent and influenced by the weather. This fact manifested itself very strongly in this project. Heavy rainfall and a very sharp roof pitch (23 °), in combination challenged the deadline and cost us a lot of additional effort.

We had on mind the term promised to the client, and if these conditions occur, we always try to adapt the work as much as possible. Change the work schedule and complete at first the work that this weather allows (installation of cable trays in areas under the roof structure, installation of inverters etc.). The difficulty of work was not only determined by the weather. This project was on a very tall building with minimal space for equipment that could transport material on to the roof, so we must have rented a special car with a hydraulic arm (crane track) to transport the material.The last details on this project are being completed and will be handed over to the client, who seemed to be pleased by our efforts as he understood the complexity of the project, bad weather and very good and fast communication.

It seems that the Belgian market is promising and that we have opened a good path to 4-5 strong clients there, who would appreciate our flexibility, fairness, project management skills and ability to effectively source right people and components

With this article, we would like to wish you a lot of professional and personal success in 2021, interesting and useful projects and such good clients as Greenbuddies has.


Hindsight is year 2020

Surely everyone at the beginning of the 2020 expressed to everyone of his friends, families, business contacts a wishes of healthy and prosperous year. However approaching March we all knew already that this will be a year like no other.

From a health perspective in 2020 the COVID – 19 phenomenon fortunately did not adversely affect anyone from the Greenbuddies. Counting the numbers at the end of the year we have also did not experience any slowdown. Moreover, we went up with our revenues comparing to 2019.

The main difference we experienced was in the way how we started to work during 2021:

 – Keeping track of ever-changing regulations in all our target countries + in our home country
 – Finding innovative ways how to work with these regulations
 – Project managers spending much more uninterrupted time in the target countries
 – Sales meetings over MS Teams, Skype, Zoom instead of talking in person (which I am personally missing a lot)
 – Home officing
 – Testing, testing, testing
 – Emergency – quarantine – relief when it proved the emergency alarm was fortunately false
Etc., etc., etc.

First 4 months were entirely according to our plan. After that we arrived into the period when the home offices at the governmental entities started to affect the approval processes, there appeared hiccups in delivery of panels: 2-3 following months became difficult. For the rest of the year I cannot use other word than „hectic“, many important and complex projects coming at the last moment.

I would namely express thanks to our clients to continue trusting us in this challenging year. Due to the agility of the customers, their vision, ability to adopt to new circumstances our financial result is in 2020 even better than last year. For the same reason our committed pipeline for 2021 is even stronger than at the beginning of last year already.
In the course of 2020 we have been able to strengthen the internal structure adding Purchasing department and standardised Quality management into our organisation structure etc. This allowed to deliver most complex projects with all the components, open 2 more countries (Belgium, France) and enter full speed to a biggest carport/EV Charging project of its kind in Austria.

This time it will work: Have a Healthy and prosperous year 2021!


 

Market Footprint 4Q 2020 19.01.2021

 

Good afternoon,
 
First of all we would like to wish you happy and healthy new year 2021.

Since November we are in the most demanding season of the year. A lot of rain and snow on our jobsite. Despite the very unfavorable weather conditions, we are glad that our professional work team has done a great job.   
 
Last quarter we got completed over 353 MWp since our start in 2018. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.
 
Feel free to send us an inquiry of our services!  We are looking forward to further cooperation.

Best regards

Greenbuddies tips – December 2020 22.12.2020

Hydrogen or electricity – what has a better chance of taking your place under the Sun?

In the current issue of our newsletter, I have decided to address at least briefly the controversial topic, which has for long divided the motoring public into two very opinion-based camps, and which probably does not yet have a clear answer. When it comes to the question what will replace fossil fuels in our cars in the future, either hydrogen or electricity would be mentioned most often. While classic battery electric cars are quite well known, with hydrogen it is different. So what is a “hydrogen” car?
It should be emphasized right from the beginning that this is not actually “hydrogen versus electricity” at all. Every hydrogen car is also an electric car. However, the energy for driving the electric motor does not flow from the battery, but from the fuel cell. The principle of operation of a fuel cell – known to mankind for 200 years – sounds like pure sci-fi to most of us. Nevertheless – yes, there is a device that converts the supplied hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. Hydrogen is fed to the anode and oxygen to the cathode. Between the anode and cathode is an electrolyte or PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) membrane. The only waste is clean water and heat, and that sounds great! Another good news is that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, where it forms the bulk of all substance. Hydrogen is all around us, there is plenty of it everywhere. It is the fuel for all the stars in all the galaxies. However, there is a small issue – we cannot extract hydrogen as oil or gas. This element is all around us, but only in compound form. So we have to produce and store free isolated hydrogen. Both are complicated and expensive.
However, by far not everyone believes that battery electric vehicles (BEV) are the right way to go, especially because of the infrastructure and the load requirements on the electricity grid. This can be clearly seen in the strategies of some car manufacturers. While announcing billions in investment in electromobility development and competing to introduce new electric cars, they are also investing in the development of hydrogen propulsion. What if it turned out that BEV are not the right way to go? Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai or Daimler – they all have real hydrogen cars on the market and are making significant progress in hydrogen mobility. Daimler, for example, estimates that in 2050 hydrogen will be used as a source of energy by slightly less than 20 percent of vehicles, although even in Stuttgart, they consider hydrogen having a future more so in freight transport rather than in passenger traffic.
On the other hand, the VW Group has clearly taken the side of BEV, simply put, mainly due to the much higher efficiency of batteries compared to a fuel cell. The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer has formed its opinion on the basis a study by the renowned consulting company Horváth & Partners, which concluded that while battery cars have an efficiency of 70% to 80%, for a fuel cell it amounts only to 25% to 35%. Much of the energy is lost in the electrolysis process, which is the most common method of hydrogen production.
Proponents of fuel cell cars point out to indisputable advantages, especially the short time needed to fill hydrogen in the tank (comparable to the time we spend on refilling conventional gasoline or diesel) and the relatively long range. So what is the situation today in terms of these two key parameters?

Driving range
This is the first question of many people about an important parameter of electric car performance. Once the answer is less than 500 kilometers, they often lose interest in the car, although not always rightly so. The average daily range of the vast majority of drivers is in the lower tens of kilometers. The mentality of us drivers, however, focuses on maximizing the driving range, and hydrogen cars are to some extent a better answer than BEV. Their range is still somewhat higher than in today’s electric cars.
Hyundai NEXO promises, for example, 600 kilometers, Toyota Mirai about 500. But it is not always the case – for example, the Mercedes GLC F-Cell will ride “only” 350 kilometers at one refueling. Very generally spoken, a kilogram of hydrogen in high-pressure tanks will last for about 100 kilometers. Today’s best electric cars will actually cover 400 to 500 kilometers, which is no longer such a considerable difference. In addition, a look under the hood of a Mercedes GLC F-Cell shows that hydrogen cars are more complicated than battery cars.

Refiling and charging time
Fast refilling is the biggest advantage of hydrogen cars. It doesn’t take much longer than with conventional internal combustion cars – about a kilogram per minute. So you will spend about five minutes at the filling stand. This is a huge difference compared to tens of minutes even with “fast charging” electric car stations. However, this big advantage of hydrogen cars may soon disappear. The Tesla Supercharger V3, for instance, can handle 250 kW of charging. IONITY has already 350 kW stations, which will rapidly reduce the time you have to spend at charging stations. Nonetheless, we have to yet wait for models that will be able to handle such a high-power and high-speed charging. One such is the Porsche Taycan and others will surely come. Let’s not forget that the advantage of electric cars is the ability to get recharged anywhere, even from a normal Shuko 230 V outlet. So if you live in a family house, you can leave every morning with a full battery without losing time. No hydrogen vehicle can compete with that.
Of course, the issue of comparing the two forms of vehicle propulsion of the future is much more complicated – let’s think only of the infrastructure of electro-charging or hydrogen filling stations. A major problem in the development of electromobility will be the insufficient capacity of distribution networks. When many BEVs should charge at high speed at once, it would require a robust supply of energy, which can be a problem in some locations. On the other hand, hydrogen filling stations deployment are also not exactly a cheap and easy task – judging at least by the plan of leading German and world industrialists that there should be more than 400 hydrogen filling stations in Germany by 2023. This ambitious plan would require a total investment of around € 350 million.
In conclusion, hydrogen propulsion certainly has some advantages. However, these will be likely eliminated in a few years by a new generation of electric cars and chargers. Yes, there are still many questions, but current developments speak in favor of electric cars. While more than three-quarters of a million battery-electric cars were sold worldwide in 2018, only 7,000 hydrogen cars were registered by respective authorities. Therefore, their future will probably reside mainly in freight transport, or even public (for example, long-haul) bus or train transport, i.e. wherever very long journeys in “non-stop” mode and fast re-fuelling are needed.


Financial aspects PV projects

Being in PV for 12 years we have seen many at that time strong companies gone bust because of under estimating the level of working capital, cash flow management or the bankability. We are aware of the risks associated with it since the beginning of our market presence. Our Clients need a healthy supplier to keep up with long term warranty obligations so we introduced already from 2017 strong rules regarding financial aspects of the PV projects.
Also our belief is that only fair win-win approach is a long-term viable and beneficial for both our clients and our suppliers. These rules which we keep are the following:

  • We build offers bottom up.
    Although certainly we follow the market levels, we build the quotations based on understanding what are the fair cost, fair margin and fair salary of everyone in the our supplier value chain.
  • Positive cash flow of each project.
    We try intend avoid pre-financing the projects and keep always our operations at least little bit cash positive. This allows us to build several projects in parallel where working capital is not a limiting factor.
  • We have at least minimum positive margin on each service we provide.
    On every service we provide duly identify the real cost and add margin on top. Margins keep our company running and alive.
  • We strictly pay our suppliers on time according to the agreed contract.
    We believe that the benefits resulting from this approach where the workers and subcontractor can rely on us keeping the due dates overweight’s the benefits from financing internal structure through subcontractors. Like that we can build stable teams and long term partnerships who provide for our customers required excellence in quality.
  • We never close cartels, we never go for dumping pricing.
    We are ethical in what we do – we believe only ethical approach keep strong relations and good position on the market.

Our general rule in project finance management is to go to the detail of each individual situation and understand motivations and internal dynamic of what we do. The Client is our first priority but also our Worker is our first priority. If the Worker is happy and doing the job properly the customer is satisfied also.


Mud and other inconveniences on the construction site

Since November we are in the most demanding part of season. Not only because of number of projects, Megawatts build but also because of the weather. Since then till end March we need to count with tons of water coming down. The weather profile differs between South Germany, France and Holland, but the ultimate risk of bobcat locked in morass, box of panels sinking together with Merlo in the mud, work stopped because of ice on the roof, road lost under meter of new snow – in that season – is high. Also this year our crews are fighting with the hectolitres of rain. This is all part of our unstoppable attitude.

However – the start is earlier: we provide a quotation to the client typically 2-3 months earlier, so it means during nice summer long days. To be precise we check the length of the sunlight in December, typical rain profile in November and snowload of January… And then we preise that this year is statistically similar. And we also hope that just this Client appreciates that the conditions are too extreme and understands that the work takes longer and is more costly.

We love the work, our staff copes with difficulties but sometimes its really not easy:


Dear Business Partners,
How time flies! The festive season is upon us once again. It is a time to enjoy the closeness of family and friends, to savour the year that has passed, and to look forward to what lies ahead. Within this spirit, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the trust you placed in us in 2020, and which we hope you will continue to do so in 2021.
We wish you a delightful, peaceful Christmas in the presence of loved ones, and good health, happiness and success in the new year.

Greenbuddies tips – November 2020 22.11.2020

Škoda Enyaq iV

The new Škoda Enyaq iV – a milestone in the transition to electromobility in the Czech market?

The focus of the largest domestic manufacturer Škoda Auto on launching new electrically powered models undoubtedly plays a key role in the further development of electromobility in Europe, but especially in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In September of this year, we registered one of the carmaker’s most important steps on its path to transformation towards the production of electric models. Quite possibly, one of the most important models in the entire history of Škoda was introduced. The Enyaq iV is the first Škoda car designed from the ground up to as a fully electric car.

Although neither Škoda Enyaq iVthe longest nor the fastest, it will be the Škoda with the highest base price. The new Enyaq iV will become the flagship of the Czech carmaker and also wants to be the model bringing new automotive trends.
Despite being shorter than the new Octavia (a lower-middle-class model), the Enyaq looks like a premium value car on the outside, whose presence on the road is emphasized by a backlit front radiator grille.
The group’s chassis base for electric cars, ID.3 , first launched by Volkswagen this autumn, is essentially reminiscent of a skateboard. There are batteries located in the floor between the axes, the driving power is provided by an electric motor, which is only at the rear of the basic versions of Enyaq, and therefore drives the rear wheels. In case of higher class versions also at the front which makes them logically all-wheel drives.
In addition to various configurations of electric motors, this concept allows you to play with a variety of battery capacities. The basic version has a capacity of about 50 kWh, it will be available, however, only in foreign markets. In the Czech Republic, only the larger “sixty” will be available with a usable capacity of 58 kWŠkoda Enyaq iVh and a range of 390 km. The one electric motor will be located in the rear, and its power is 132 kW.
The true variability of the MEB platform is shown by the Enyaq 80 version. It has a usable capacity of 77 kWh and in the basic version with a 150 kW electric motor at the rear, it will travel up to 510 km on a single charge.
The basic version can perform fast charging with an output of 50 kW, but the top variants can handle 125 kW, which  means that from 5 to 80 percent of the capacity, you will charge in just 38 minutes. Other important parameter is the power of the on-board charger, which is a solid 11 kW. That means that when hooked up to a sufficiently strong wallbox you will be able to charge from zero to full in six or eight hours, depending on the version.
Enyaq therefore seems to be versatile enough for practical life. Thanks to the large batteries, it will have a sufficiently long driving range and recharging should be fast enough to make even longer journeys possible. Consumption will be reduced by a heat pump, which will heat the cabin with waste heat from the battery in winter.
The interior is unusually high grade for Škoda, but all the more pleasantly luxurious. The materials work very well, the dashboard is sewn with leather. The car’s control center is a 13-inch display in the middle of the instrument panel, whose design looks the same as the new Octavia, but has specific features related to emobility. Almost everything is controlled through the display, including air conditioning, driving modes and so on, but at least six small buttons remain under the central ventilation vents for quick selection.
The ŠkŠkoda Enyaq iVoda Enyaq iV will be offered in a wide range of versions and performance alternatives. As already mentioned, the basic version of the iV 50 with an output of 109 kW and a 55 kWh battery will not be sold in the Czech Republic, in our country the entry model is based on a 62 kWh battery with an output of 132 kW. If you need more power and capacity, you can choose the iV 80 version with an output of 150 kW and a battery with a capacity of 82 kWh (usable 77 kWh).
With the Enyaq iV model, Škoda returns to the rear-wheel drive in the case of single-engine versions. However, there will also be an 80X ATV with two electric motors and a combined power of 225 kW (75 kW at the front, 150 kW at the rear). Only with all-wheel drive will there be an RS iV version, which will offer 80X power but more dynamic characteristics. That’s why the Škoda RS version gives an acceleration from zero to 100 in 6.2 seconds, while the 80X will achieve the same speed in seven seconds.
While the market will probably see in the new Enyaq – thanks to an already decent range and a reasonably short fast charging time – an equivalent alternative to powerful SUVs with diesel engines, we, i.e. experts and companies working to create conditions for smooth transition to electromobility believe that the brand new model of the key Czech carmaker will become a significant first milestone on the road to an emission-free traffic on our roads and highways.

 

„Unusable“ soil as a basis for photovoltaic power plants

Already in the September edition, we mentioned the construction of a photovoltaic power plant at a landfill in the north of the Netherlands (project Bovenveld). This construction has been successfully completed, handed over to the client and the land, which was difficult to use for other purposes, has now a capacity of 7 MWp of Solar power and will supply electricity to the surrounding buildings.

The use of landfills is considerably limited due to the possibility of gas formation, the content of heavy metals and hazardous compounds, the uncertain stability of the subsoil at higher loads and more. The photovoltaic power plant therefore seems to be an ideal economic use. However, it is not just about economic potential. It is an effort to underline and multiply the positive environmental impacts of solar power plants in terms of clean energy by increasing the efficiency of solar panels with new materials and technologies, increase the recyclability of panels, but choosing a photovoltaic power plant location can create a very smart environmental solution. Advantages of constructing the PV plants on recultivated landfill is partially compensated by the need for high level of experience in the construction of these systems and compliance with stricter legislative requirements so as to prevent leakage of contaminated water or soil from the subsoil. The first legislative requirement implemented in this project was a layer of steel slag, which strengthens the surface and separates the landfill environment. A special safety feature that relates to the possible leakage of gases from the landfill body was the use of electrical work machines to prevent the possibility of explosion.
In the previous construction, 2 types of under-constructions were used due to the irregular terrain. In the current project, located in the Netherlands near the town of Eerbeek, only Sunbeam structures were used, which require a flat base, as their original use is for flat roofs.
We are delivering since mid-September also other interesting landfill project of a similar size to be connected end of this year for a customer and at a location which we are not allowed to disclose.  The energy obtained at the landfill will supply 1,600 local households. Good planning in the implementation of the project ensured not only the ecological and economic benefits of using the old landfill, its sufficient security, but also, for example, the incorporation of an infiltration pond for rainwater until the created subsoil becomes impermeable. The aesthetic aspect of the project was also considered, when due to the terrain and the planting of slopes with plants, the power plant will hardly be visible.
Interest in the use of old landfills for the production of energy from renewable sources is becoming increasingly popular and it is not only about solar energy, but often about combinations with the use of biogas, which are generated in the landfill by decomposition of waste (see picture below). Progressive markets in this direction are countries that have been using renewables and green energy for a long time and where a well-thought-out infrastructure is being created, where brownfields, landfills and large roof areas are mainly used for the construction of solar power plants, for example. As our company is headquartered in Prague we believe that in the Czech Republic these projects will be also more implemented in the near future and we will be able to utilise our experience from abroad to improve ecological progress in our country in the field of solar energy production.

Best Practices for Siting Solar Photovoltaics on Municipal Solid Waste LandfillsSource: Michaud, William & Kiatreungwattana, Kosol & Mosey, Gail & Jones-Johnson, Shea & Dufficy, Craig & Bourg, Joe & Conroy, Angela & Keenan, Meghan & Brown, Katie. (2013). Best Practices for Siting Solar Photovoltaics on Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. 10.13140/RG.2.1.2665.6408.

 

New Project managers on Board of Greenbuddies

Greenbuddies is again growing in available skills and knowledge.
We have 2 new project managers since Summer:

Martin is circulating Germany, Holland and Belgium taking care of various solar projects in these countries and Pavel is responsible for a first larger EPC project in the area of Automotive solutions within Greenbuddies Charging in Austria.

Project manager Martin Berka

Project Manager Martin Berka1)  How would you describe the challenge of your first project for Greenbuddies?
Martin Berka (MB): The main challenge in my first “own” project was completing all of our tasks on time, because the term was really ambitious. We got it. 😊
2) Before working at Greenbuddies, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? 
MB: My lovely job I remember was teaching young swimmers in Australia. A guy from inland teached swimming in Mecca of water sports.
3) If you could pick one theme for Greenbuddies to turn into a book about the company, what would it be? MB: I would like to describe how to manage turning impossible to reality in few days/hours.

4) If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? 
MB:
Not really a historical event but I would like to live in 1900 to see the technical progress.
5) What is your hidden talent?
MB: I can asleep everywhere, when I going by public transport longer than 3 stops, I will asleep. I missed my final stop two times only!
6) What is your favourite travel spot?
MB: Zakarpattia Oblast (region) – abandoned hills, large forests, delicious food! A paradise for backpackers close to Czech republic.

 

Project manager Pavel Skála

Project Manager Pavel Skála1)  How would you describe the challenge of your first project for Greenbuddies?
Pavel Skála (PS): After more than 28 years of my professional experience at big corporate companies in Automotive business and water turbine business, I joined now Greenbuddies charging, where we started with quite challenging project on EPC level in Austria market. Here is the scope of supply on high challenging level – design, supply, installation, commissioning and service contract for the Austrian customer.
2) Before working at Greenbuddies, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
PS: My the most unsual job was negotiation and signing of the contracts of hydro equipment on EPC level of delivery for Customer from Nepal Country.
3) If you could pick one theme for Greenbuddies to turn into a book about the company, what would it be?
PS: Large experiences in installation and commissioning of PV project with very good future.
4) If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? !
PS: I would like to see the possibility  of the human representatives landing on the Mars …
5) What is your hidden talent?
PS: My hidden tallent are negotiation skills of West, East European customers and more than 10 years of experiences with B2B and/or B2C business on Asian market.
6) What is your favourite travel spot?
PS: Caribeean island like ARUBA, Bonair, Martinique or Hawai Island but this one in dreams level only …

 

 

Greenbuddies tips – October 2020 20.10.2020

Electrification project for Engie – Greenbuddies Charging selected for installation services

More than half a year ago we decided at Greenbuddies Charging to expand outside our typical target segment of corporate clients. We were approached by Engie EPS from Italy, which concluded a global framework contract for the supply of electrical installation services for end clients of the FCA Group, including Fiat, Jeep, electromobility support among global brands – basically all prominent players are trying to increase sales of their new electric models by offering additional service packages. In this case, FCA resellers will offer end customers the opportunity to purchase an additional services containing the installation of a specific model of charger from the ENGIE portfolio, supplied by their subsidiary EV Box. In practice, an authorized dealer will offer interested customers desired electric car from the FCA portfolio as well as the opportunity to supply and install a home charger. These are so-called “Wallboxes”, which are typically mounted on the wall in a garage at your home or in the underground parking lots of companies using electric fleets. If the client shows interest, the seller will fill in a basic questionnaire and, based on the information obtained and the electric car model selected, he or she will offer the customer specific type of charger. I would like to emphasize that the offer will be really wide – from the basic Plug & Play version called Easy Wallbox, which does not need professional installation and connects into an ordinary 230 V socket to 22 kW installed power chargers with smart charging control preventing overload breakdowns.
If the client agrees, his/her contact details will be handed over to a certified installation company, which – after going through a pre-check procedure to determine the condition of the electrical infrastructure at the installation site – shall dispatch a technician to carry out the installation itself. At first glance, it looks quite simple, but as you probably guess, it is by far not that trivial. The selected installation company must meet the strict requirements of Engie. Installation technicians must be professionally trained and certified for the installation of the relevant EV Box chargers, authorized Engie partners must based on signed SLA comply with stringent criteria for the timeliness and quality of services provided and, among other things, operate a customer service telephone line.
We are very pleased that Engie EPS has chosen Greenbuddies Charging as its exclusive authorized installation partner for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To meet demanding requirements of our Italian partner, we chose to team up with our supplier Elexim from Kroměříž, which has over the past three years developed into a major supplier of chargers of various brands in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Its clients include major companies from various industries, including e.g. Škoda Auto.
We are currently finishing preparations for this business opportunity and are all looking forward to the official launch of new models of battery or hybrid cars from the FCA portfolio in both our markets. Who would not get tempted to test a brand new battery-powered “Cinquecento” from Fiat or the hybrid Renegade model from the legendary Jeep?
I would like wish our team as many smooth installations as possible and only happy customers!

 

Project Kemnath

Last month we successfully completed the project in Germany, near the Czech borders by the small town of Kemnath. It was an opportunity to get familiar with MKG substructure on a smaller system of 1,26 MW – and it went really well, the whole project finishing a few days ahead of schedule.
The construction was very well prepared by the client so it wasn’t problematic for us to comply with all the deadlines, which were however quite strict – according to the schedule we were supposed to finish on Saturday and already on Monday commissioning of the first electric part on the DC site was scheduled. Thanks to finishing our work a couple days in advance, all participants were satisfied.
The construction which was used for this project was provided by the manufacturer MKG that has years of experience with construction of solar parks and their construction expertise is proven by the years of its functional use. And so despite the fact that it was our first park with this very specific type of construction from MKG, there was no problem with its completion. Apart from very detailed documentation, the manufacturer also provided their representatives who were very helpful during the first days of the work.
The location where the power plant is located is covered by forest in the north and facing the sun in the south – this allows the maximization of the energy yield. Soil was very soft. This meant the advantage for ramming, which proceeded quite fast, however we needed to minimize the power on the ramming machine not to ramm the piles too deep. On the other hand we didn’t underestimate the preparation and in anticipation of rainy weather, we had prepared the chain machinery, which is absolutely necessary on slippery and muddy terrain.
Above all precise ramming is crucial to a ground-mounted project . Therefore we were personally present during this phase and we were supervising the quality of the work being carried out. Once the mounting of the substructure started, everything went very smoothly. To satisfy the wish of the client and to make sure we would finish within the given time by the end of the construction phase we sent in almost 3 times more workers than had been present during the first days. Thanks to our ability to scale up the workforce when needed and our skills and experience with completion of solar parks, we handed over the powerplant several days before the planned handover date.
Thanks to the happiness of the client with our work we are currently carrying out2 considerably bigger projects for the client.

 

Presenting a new member of GB team

Jorrit Groen

We are getting more and more involved into the Dutch market: this market is a key market for Greenbuddies since solar is increasing in popularity and strongly subsidized. Therefore it proved we need to have excellent people on ground in Holland to get close on new opportunities . From October this year Jorrit Groen joined the team. He is coming from Solar industry and we believe that he will push our achievements on Dutch, Belgian and Luxemburg markets further.

Aleš Spáčil: Jorrit, may I ask you several questions?
1)
What is the main difference between working for a Dutch company and working for a foreign company?
Jorrit Groen (JG):
Well, since the corona outbreak there is actually no difference, we all work at home. But of course there is the language and cultural difference. Working abroad and working for an foreign company is not new to me. I’ve always liked working with different cultures.
2) What would you do for living if there were no renewable energies?
JG:
I’d probably be selling software solutions. I like to sell ‘solutions’ and I like software. But I’d might also still be on Borneo working for a NGO saving the sea and all what’s in it. I’ve been doing that for a month on a small island close to Borneo, restoring and creating artificial coral reefs. (scubadiving is one of my favourite hobby’s)
3) Who are your models in doing Sales; can you name some “gurus”, maybe even globally?
JG:
1. Simon Sinek. Famous for his vision on ‘why’, golden circle ‘why, how, what‘. (also great for your personal life)
2. Jim Collins. Famous for his bestseller: “Good to Great!“
3. Of course Napoleon Hill: “ Think and grow rich”. Everybody should read that and find out what the meaning of ‘rich’ is.
4) You are travelling a lot for work, what is your most favourite location elsewhere and in particular in the Benelux countries?
JG:
Of course I’d love to say Prague. 😊 But, my last visit to you guys was so short, and was my first so I need to get a full experience with Prague first, I hope soon. In Benelux I like Bruges and all bigger cities near coast since I really love kitesurfing, the bigger the waves the better.
5) Who, from environment around you is helping most in your mission?
JG:
Oeh, tough one, to be honest, in my circle of friends and family I am the only one that’s thinking about the environment. But I’d say my girlfriend Nikki, she has no clue what I’m doing (she’s a surgeon) but she’s always willing to hear my stories (and pretend she understands) and she’s proud of the things I’ve achieved.

Market footprint 3Q 2020 09.10.2020

Greetings!
 
We hope all is well.
 
Autumn has begun and this means peak season in solar energy industry. Due to COVID pandemic a lot of projects have been postponed and we are experiencing very busy season now: we are running now 14 projects in paralel!
 
At the beginning of 2020 Bloomberg New Energy Finance warned cut its global solar demand forecast for 2020 by 8% – from 121-152GW to 108-143GW, saying “this could make 2020 the first down year for solar capacity addition since at least the 1980s”.
No cuts in our case at least!
 
We are pleased to have a professional team that does a great job.
 
Last quarter we got completed over 328 MWp in recent 35 months, still growing rapidly. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.
 
Feel free to send us an inquiry of our services!  We are looking forward to further cooperation.

Kind regards

Greenbuddies tips – September 2020 23.09.2020

Outlook of electric mobility in EU after COVID-19 crisis

No doubt the current Corona virus pandemic hit hard the automanufacturing industry and made the global sales plunge rapidly in comparison with the pre-pandemic times. And so many emobility experts may ask themselves to what degree the production of EV’s shall copy the same disruptive trends like in the manufcturing of combustion-engine cars. Some prominent consultancies have investigated the emerging trends and came up with an interesting finding: The EV is very likely to see a relatively quick rebound and strong growth, particularly in China and the EU. Why? Following are the key areas which will influence comparative development of EV market vs. Internal Combustion Engines (ICE):

  • Macroeconomic environment – despite the pandemic-driven drop in oil prices, EV’s will retain lower costs of ownership
  • Government policies and regulation – strict CO2 emission limits imposed by the EU force OEM’s to focus on manufacturing fuel-efficient vehicles, aka EV’s and PHEV’s. Similarly, government incentives such as subsidies for EV purchases boost sales of EV’s. For instance in Germany purchase subsidies may amount more than € 8 thousand per vehicle.
  • Technology & infrastructure – several governments are investing in charging infrastructure as part of their national economy aid programs
  • EV offerings – whereas the pandemic has shut down many plants and assembly lines, some OEM’s (mainly in the EU) are putting priority on EV production to cope with CO2
  • Consumer demand – in many countries demand for EV’s has remained stable in contrast with ICE segment, therefore share of EV’s has risen. As one of the consequences we may observe a tangible shift in favour of an on-line sales model compared to traditional car dealerships.

In spite of Corona crisis, European leaders have stuck to a stringent fleetwide CO2 target of 95 g of CO2 per km by 2021. Many European OEM’s have committed to meeting the target and rolled out a number of battery-powered EV‘s and PHEV’s, by some counts there have been 42 new model introductions in the first quarter 2020 alone.
European governments have instituted new purchase subsidies, tax breaks, etc. to beef up EV adoption and promote pollution-free mobility.
Overall, European EV sales may potentially increase from 600 thousand in 2019 to 2,0-2,9 million in 2022. EV market share is also increasing, it rose from 3% in 2019 to 7% by June 2020. By 2022 it may be expected that EV’s may have a 12-15 market share.

So if the current trends persist, emobility could emerge from the crisis even stronger than it was estimated prior to COVID-19 turmoil.

 

EPC opportunities for Greenbuddies Charging

We are proud to announce that Greenbuddies Charging has stepped into an EPC delivery of EV charging infrastructure this year.

Although we cannot yet disclose the location and client, however in general – in one of our target countries – we were mandated to deliver a set of carports which are equipped with several charging poles. The system will be ready for additional installation of power storage. It is reassuring that very similar mid- to large-size opportunities for the same type of Clientele can be envisaged increasingly more often.
Our Client for this kind of job comes from the field of tourist/entertainment area and you can easily imagine that currently this segment works under strong COVID pressure. The Client believes, however, that this type of project will attract to their premises existing and new customers who would spend a day or half a day in the location and would appreciate the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles. We believe this first reference project may prove to pave the the way to other clients from this sector in the same region and in other countries.

As regards the technical solution we have decided to use the proven technology of a premium German carport manufacturer PMT that is considered to be a leading player in the carport structure industry. The PV plant consists of more than 3.950 pieces of HT SAAE 380 Wp panels, the DC inverting is provided by Huawei invertors. In terms of the chargers themselves we will apply Greenbuddies branded OEM produced in EU delivering 11 kW AC output. After commissioning we will be together with the Client carefully following the energy balance reports and once there is a clear business rationale the energy storage solution will be proposed to the Investor and when approved then connected within the system.
We are looking forward to complete the project and then to share with you real life pictures from the individual implementation stages.

 

For higher safety

The EN 62446 standard for photovoltaics was last updated in 2018. In addition, Dutch insurance companies came up with the Scope 12 initiative this year, which consists of a set of rules and measures to ensure greater safety in the operation of photovoltaic roof installations and thus reduce the risk of fires. The technical standards affect not only the project documentation, but also the assembly and electrical installation of the PV plant itself. One of our regular activities leading to the highest quality of installations is also regular training of our assembly teams. This year we focused on the following topics:

Connectors and suitable tools

Did you know that most PV plant fires are caused by incorrect connectors and their improper installation? It is still common practice to find “MC4” connectors on PV plants with a voltage level of 1500 V DC, which are only tested up to 1000 V DC. It should be noted that the connectors are the only place where the DC wiring on the construction site is interfered with, and therefore due attention must be paid to them. Stäubli, formerly Multi Contact, is the only manufacturer of original MC4 connectors. A common mistake is to connect the original Stäubli MC4 connector with the visually “same” name, eg QC4. Although at first glance it seems that these two connectors can be freely combined in the circuit, the opposite is true. The connection of male and female from different manufacturers is prohibited by the PV standard in order to prevent overheating, short circuit and subsequent fire of the DC installation. A professional installation company has a case with crimping pliers with approved jaws for a given type of connector, such as MC4, MC4 Evo2 or Amphenol. These connector sets are supplied, for example, by Stäubli, Knipex or Rennsteig.

 Flying panels or achieving the right tightening torque

Did you know that each manufacturer of the mounting system and modules (does not) state different values ​​for the tightening torque of the modules clamps? The task of the project manager is to ensure that the assembly team knows how much Nm the module clamps need to be tightened. Find out whether your supplier of substructure states these values ​​in the installation instructions. If the manufacturer is not able to supply these values, then I would seriously ask how confidently you feel that the panels will not fly during the first storm. In the Netherlands, insurance companies send independent experts to the roof before concluding insurance on the rooftop PV plant, who check that the facts comply with the manual. We have purchased an accurate and reliable Japanese Tohnichi torque wrench for torque control, which works in the range of 3 to 25 Nm. Using this calibrated wrench, we check the actual tightening torque of the panel clamps on the roofs before handing over the project to the customer. How do your subcontractors ensure the correct installation of the modules? If you are in doubt, feel free to contact us and we will inspect your rooftop PV plant for you. If no defects are found out, then this quality check would be free of charge for you.

Assembly team with their head Jiří Holouš

Greenbuddies tips – August 2020 24.08.2020

Source: Volkswagen AG and www.spotlightmetal.com

Holland – Electromobility Promised Land

The Netherlands undoubtedly belongs to the elite group of most developed electromobility markets in Europe. It is remarkable how electromobility swiftly ramped up in Dutch market in the last few years. Let’s have a look at some figures as they changed throughout the years:

Until December 2015, the Netherlands had the world’s fourth largest light-duty plug-in vehicle stock after the U.S., China and Japan, and also had the largest fleet light-duty plug-in vehicles in Europe. Sales in the Dutch plug-in market fell sharply during 2016 after changes in the tax rules that went into force at the beginning of 2016. Sales during the first half of 2016 were down 64% from the same period in 2015. By early October 2016, the Netherlands listed as the third largest European plug-in market, after being surpassed by both Norway and France, and in the global ranking fell from fourth to sixth place. The stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in November 2016.
Typical for the Dutch plug-in market until 2016 was the dominance of plug-in hybrid cars, which represented 80.8% of the country’s stock of passenger plug-in electric cars and vans registered at the end of December 2017. The shift to focus incentives on battery electric vehicles took place in the wake of the tax rule changes in 2016 after it became clear that far too many users occasionally charged their plug-in hybrids and the sheer tax benefit was the only motivation for their purchase.
As of 31 March 2020, there were 218,501 highway-legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands, consisting of 116,148 pure electric cars, 97,553 plug-in hybrids, and 4,800 all-electric light utility vans. When buses (866), trucks (140), motorcycles (812), quadricycles and tricycles (1,446) are accounted for, the Dutch plug-in fleet in use climbs to 221,765 units.
Also in terms of charging infrastructure The Netherlands occupies top-notch positions in global comparison as it relates to ratio of charging points to electric vehicles, outpacing such markets as for instance the US.
The Dutch government has in spring this year confirmed the planned purchase subsidies for privately used e-cars, including secondhand electric cars. Thus the Netherlands is among the first countries in Europe to introduce a subsidy for the purchase or leasing of used electric cars.
Drivers who want to purchase an electric vehicle in the Netherlands were prompted by a subsidy of 4.000 Euros for the EV’s with a list price between between 12- 45 thousand Euros and a minimum range of 120 km. The new subsidy system also included a bonus of 2.000 Euros for used electric cars. The subsidy of 4,000 euros for the purchase of new electric cars and 2,000 euros for used electric vehicles could have been applied from 1 July (also retroactively to purchases made after 4 June 2020).To prevent misuse, the subsidy is only available when buying or leasing through an approved dealer.
It comes as no surprise that the planned budget of ten million euros was allocated after only eight days after applications opened on 1 July, as the subsidy was awarded on a “first come, first served” basis.
Since the purchase prices for e-cars will decrease in the long run, it is expected that the subsidy amount for new cars will also decrease in the coming years, while the 2,000 euros for used cars should remain at that level.
When we think about the high degree of maturity of the Dutch market with electromobility, it is interesting to ask the question of why people in the Netherlands buy electric cars. According to the report published recently by CleanTechnica, the responses are pretty similar across countries. The largest portion of buyers referenced the environmental benefits, in the Netherlands the second most frequent reason was that they loved new tech, followed closely by the smooth & quiet drive and the fun & convenience of EV life.
People in Holland love their electric cars as you can tell from the sheer number of EV’s on the roads and in the streets of their cities. Affection that surely is going to last for many years to come!

Use of a recultivated landfill for a photovoltaic power plant

Photovoltaics is an often declining and rapidly developing field, its development is not only connected with the improvement of solar panel technology, but new types of structures are also constantly being developed for their installation. When developing new solar panels, the emphasis is mainly on the price, which decreases every year, and at the same time the percentage of their recyclability increases.
Emphasis is placed on the generality of their use in the field, ease of installation and price. Not only this rapid development of efficient conversion of solar energy into electrical offers variability in this field. A great variety of applications can also be found in underconstruction systems. It is not new that solar power plants are built on fields, roofs or, for example, water surfaces in the form of floating power plants. But even in this field, various solutions can be cleverly combined, and just such a combination was used by our client in the north-east of the Netherlands, who asked us to build a solar power plant with an output of about 7 MW at a recultivated landfill.
The Bovenveld project, within which the above-mentioned construction is underway, began on 15 July 2020 at the request of ProfiNRG. Such a specific project also required specific solutions, where the geomembrane isolating the landfill, which is located under a small layer of soil, should not be disturbed. For this reason were used in this project two types of construction with the foundation, which does not extend deep below the ground level. As the first structure anchoring system was used TreeSystem, which got its name for similarity of its anchoring systems to tree roots, which can fix the structure in a small depth.

Source: www.treesystem.it

This technology offer low installation depth of anchoring systems between 45 – 60 cm underground hand by hand with the acquisition of sufficient safety and does not require excavation work or foundation with concrete. This speeds up the installation as well as the removal of the structure at the end of its service life. It is used not only at power plants in landfills or quarries, but also on steep slopes, where the installation of conventional underconstruction systems would be difficult, as well as in archaeological sites, where is minimal damage of the substrate requested. The power of the plant founded by this system in the Bovenveld project is 4.7 MW.
The second type of construction used on this site is SunBeam, which is used for photovoltaic systems located on flat roofs. This use was an alternative to the specific requirements of this project, as in fact almost the only use of this system is for roof structures.
An important factor that affects the possibility of using the SunBeam system is to obtain a flat solid surface on which the structure is anchored only with weights (ballast). In this part, there was no disruption of the soil, which was in a very thin layer (30 cm) on the geomembrane insulating the landfill. The SunBeam system was chosen for its good functional properties, easy and fast installation, which reduced the time required for construction. By using this system was built 2.3 MW.
We captured the current state of the construction with a drone for you. We expect that our teams will complete this project till October and we will inform you about the final result in our news.

Author: Peter Bats and Tommhy Cuadros

Aerocompact practical training goes far beyond the counting of manhours of installation

The basic purpose of the mounting system for photovoltaic modules is to ensure safe operation of the system with minimal maintenance. The safety of mounting throughout the life of the PV generator is a crucial component.

How to achieve a safe installation?

The first step is a suitably chosen mounting system for fixing the panels in our case to a flat roof. The most common mistake in calculating of the distribution and weight of the load is to omit the slope of the flat roof, even though it has a slope of only few degrees. Furthermore, when the friction of the roof covering surface or foil is not measured by a special device. In addition to calculating the weight and distribution of the concrete load (usually concrete tiles), both of these parameters also serve to determine whether the entire blocks of panels may shift due to the different thermal expansion of the materials used and the slippery roof surface. Oversized ballast (load) can lead to unnecessary loading of the roof structure and higher costs for material purchase, handling, and installation. Conversely, insufficient, and poorly distributed loads can cause a shift of block of panels or blow out due to strong wind or storm. Prior to laying the panels, make sure that the load distribution corresponds to the installation drawings of the mounting system supplier. The insurance company will verify this figure among the first facts in the event of an insured event. The second important thing is the tightening of all bolts connections and especially the panel clamps to the tightening torque resulting from the assembly instructions of the construction manufacturer and the panel manufacturer. That your subcontractor does not provide this information? Consider whether it is trustworthy, and its system is secure for the application and area.
We practically mastered all these and many other important steps during a three-hour field training. The training was led by an experienced engineer Nico Baggen from Aerocompact on June 12 in the Dutch city of Arnhem. We chose the location deliberately, because we are currently building over 7 MW of rooftop PV installations in the vicinity. We also wanted to take advantage of the fact that the experienced masters of our assembly teams work nearby, and we were able to meet all at once and exchange experiences.

Price is not the only criterion

Do you know the value of losing a good name and losing a client due to savings in the wrong place?
Do you know if the insurance company will not refuse to insure the rooftop PV plant in time, because it does not correspond, for example, to Scope 12 in the Netherlands, and what additional costs will be involved?
When choosing a suitable assembly system, we recommend comparing not only the price of “hardware” per kWp, the assembling cost, but also whether the system was tested in a wind tunnel, whether it has the necessary certificates and tests for the area, whether all components used meet required service life, what material the structure is made of and how resistant it is to corrosion, e.g. near the sea, if the solution design took into account all parameters such as friction of the roof, roof pitch, building height (some systems work safely only up to 25 m building height) etc.

Source: www.aerocompact.com

Greenbuddies tips – July 2020 21.07.2020

Electromobility in Austria

In this issue of our Newsletter we continue to map our key target markets. Today I shall bring some basic facts on the country of our southern neighbours – Austria.

Electric mobility initiates a turnaround in mobility and paves way to cleaner transport of the future. The key words are range, infrastructure and price. Most electric vehicles cruising the roads of our neighbours are fast-charging. In Austria there are already over 5,000 charging points and a quick charging station every 60 km. And the price? There are grants and special leasing and rental models for the BEV (battery electric vehicle).
Since July 1st, 2020, there have been new premiums valid throughout Austria for the purchase of electric vehicles. The purchase of an electric car (BEV) or a car with a fuel cell (FCEV) is funded with a total of 5,000 euros (2,000 euros for automobile importers + 3,000 euros for Ministry of Environment, Energy and Transport, BMK) per vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (PHEV) [except diesel plug-in] and range extenders (REX, REEV), there is a total of 2,500 euros (1,250 euros for automobile importers + 1,250 euros for BMK).

The total number of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) in Austria was around 51,300 in 2019. The majority of these are now purely electric cars; in 2019 there were around 29,500 passenger cars with electric drives in Austria. The proportion of cars with electric drives rose to around 0,59 percent of the total number of passenger cars.

A similar development can be observed in other vehicle classes. The stock of electric trucks has been growing steadily since 2010, but the growth took place almost exclusively in the class up to 3,5 tons total weight (vehicle class N1). In 2019, around 2,600 electric delivery vans were approved for road traffic in Austria. A steady increase can also be observed in vehicle class L (motorbikes / trikes / quadricyles). The number of buses with electric drives, on the other hand, developed inconsistently. The number of new registrations of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) reached a new high in 2019, for the first time over 14,300 electric vehicles were newly registered. Over 74 percent of new registrations of purely electric vehicles were passenger cars in 2019, and a total of around 9,200 electric cars were registered for the first time. The share of new car registrations was 2.81 percent. The best-selling electric car was Tesla’s Model 3 in 2019. Around 5,000 charging stations for electric cars are available in Austria. Most were installed in Lower Austria, in Vienna the number of charging stations is 831. If all vehicles are operated with an electric motor, an additional electricity requirement of around 20 terawatt hours per year in Austria would be required.

Austria uses various measures to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. These include financial support and tax exemptions. At the federal level, there was a program worth EUR 72 million to support electric two-wheelers and cars in 2017 and 2018. The establishment of charging infrastructure was also supported. A similar program was launched for 2019 and 2020, this time totaling EUR 93 million. Further funding is available at the levels of the federal states and municipalities.

Well, I’m not sure what you think – there’s still a long way for Austrians to go to reach mature emobility in their country. Yet I believe they could set a good example for the Czech government which has so far been pretending this topic does not exist.

Graph 1: Publicly accesible charging points in Austria. Source: Federal Ministry Republic of Austria: Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. AustriaTech. January 2020. Link: www.bmk.gv.at

Pricing electricity process

In this last part of our tech series we will touch on the following complex topic – the electric part of a PV project and its pricing.
The electrical elements of a project can be divided into the following categories:

  • engineering and project design
  • installation of DC
  • installation of AC
  • connection to the grid
  • purchasing of components

Let’s see how the process of pricing may differ from case to case.
There is a significant difference in pricing a project for a smaller entity and a large solar company with expert professional background. The smaller clients are often also new in the field.
Although the most common scope to be priced is a complete delivery of the system (smaller companies say: “give us a price of a complete DC side of installation”), it is very important to clarify what shall be included in our delivery and what has the customer managed on his own, i.e. to agree on a clear scope. Otherwise the client may start comparing “apples and oranges” and some substantial part is forgotten by both parties. This always leads to misunderstandings. The importance of a clear scoping document is crystal clear in the case of an incomplete project documentation or lacking permission for connecting the powerplant to the grid etc. In this sense the large and established solar players typically provide detailed documentation and well-specified requirements. Although we like it as it brings more specific results, it has certain drawbacks, especially that the decision-making process is a bit more complex and can take several months.
Not only does the size of the client’s company make a difference in specification of requirements and then the pricing of the projects, there are also specifications and requirements that differ country to country. As an example, many German companies are using a standardized, structured document called “Leistungverzeichnis” (LV) where all the requested items and the components including their exact amount are all specified. Dutch clients vary in the form of the RFQ which is company-specific, supported by drawing and other specific documents. Though the LV may look difficult at first sight, the work with the LV is smooth once you process the first one. The possible disadvantage of the LV RFQ is that it might not contain all the items necessary to deliver a complete PV plan. Then these costs ( e.g. machinery amounting to tens of thousands of EURO) need to be “dissolved” within the other items and this could possibly distort the comparison among competitors.

 

Presenting GB team

Starting in 2017, Ales Spacil and Ondrej Vodslon were doing everything in the company, the only one who was helping was Ondrej’s wife: she is Italian and was cooking fantastic pasta …

Now, years after this we have a structured but lean company where we have all the functions to provide our services to the clients with the right quality.

We believe that it is important for you to understand what everyones responsibility.
Ales Spacil, Ondrej Vodslon and Ales Damm (for EV Charging LOB) are certainly end-responsible persons throughout the entire process of customer satisfaction. Their division of roles is that Aleš Spáčil is responsible for Sales, Marketing, Human Resources. Ondrej is responsible for Finance, Delivery & Engineering and they share responsibility over Purchasing. Aleš Damm is responsible for all functions of Greenbuddies Charging.
Lets look at who is  doing what within the team:
Once the business is developed, once the opportunity comes to Aleš’s table Dan (primarily for Germany) and Tomáš (primarily for the Netherlands) or Šárka (for EV charging projects) take the lead and prepare the offer. As a Sales support team they also develop independent marketing activities to target the market. Denisa is an assistant to the sales team with an important marketing responsibility in organising events, updating online presence and also generating these newsletters and our quarterly reference packs distributed to the clients.

Liběna (Líba) and Marek are purchasers who support in this phase the offer by tendering most interesting offers for cables, understructures, panels etc. Purchasing than also supports the actual construction phase by finding the best suitable work teams and fixing the right price of the components. Their job includes also logistics and delivery of the component on site.

Construction phase is managed by the Project managers: they are currently 3. Marcel, head of the Project managers, Honza (Jan) and Tommhy. Their role is to bring the project thru all the hurdles of installation to the commissioning phase, it is crucial that the project manager sets a superb relations with the client but keeps also good working relations with the site manager. He needs to translate the wishes of the client to a manageable solution. Project manager is moving from one site to another and although he does not stay there for the whole period of construction he is the main tool for driving the quality of the installation.
Within the finance area Ondrej works mainly on his own. However he is supported by Veronika who also keeps an eye on that the office works well is clean and nice and people feel well.

So – this is Greenbuddies in Prague.

Apart from that we could not achieve such results if we didn’t work with local professionals. In the Netherlands we have stable working relations with Jos who is well connected across the whole country and is able to mediate and “translate” between different business practices in our country and the Netherlands. Similarly, in Austria we are working together with local sales & servicing network helping us with Austrian-specific business aspects. In Germany we are in process of establishing such a position which is in principle very helpful in the area of customer satisfaction.